International Investment Disputes
Recent Experience in Treaty Arbitrations and International Investment Disputes
- acting for the government of British Columbia in an arbitration against the United States in relation to claims of underpricing of timber and violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the US. The Akin Gump team convinced the arbitration tribunal at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. to dismiss all claims
- acting for a U.S. investor in pursuing claims under the U.S. Panama Bilateral Investment Treaty in respect of Panama’s expropriation of mining exploratory rights previously granted to our client, but subsequently withdrawn after a finding of mineral reserves valued at more than US$1 billion
- acting for the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese tire company Bridgestone in pursuing ICSID proceedings under the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement in respect of the indirect expropriation of intellectual property rights
- representing a large Russian investment company in connection with an expropriation by the Ukraine government of a hotel property in a UNCITRAL arbitration
- acting for a Russian oil company regarding investment treaty claims arising out of contracts for work done by Hungarian companies on the Yamburg and Tengiz oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan pursuant to the Agreement on Co-operation in Development of the Yamburg gas field, Construction of the Trunk Gas Pipeline Yamburg-USSR Western Border and Facilities of the Tengiz oil and gas field, as well as related gas supplies from the USSR to the People’s Republic of Hungary, between the government of the People’s Republic of Hungary and the government of the USSR dated December 30 1985, and which claims had been sold to our client
- acting for a major Russian oil and gas company in relation to a dispute with a Central European state concerning discrimination and expropriation of a US$1 billion inward investment in the energy sector, including advice as to proposed BIT arbitration proceedings; this dispute was settled by the payment of US$2.7 billion to our client in exchange for the expropriated asset
- representing approximately 100 financial institutions holding in excess of US$33 billion of bonds, issued by three insolvent Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki; the bankruptcy of these three Icelandic banks has been, collectively, the second largest bankruptcy in history, in one of the world’s smallest economies; throughout the representation, the firm’s financial restructuring team worked hand in hand with the litigation team on a spectrum of litigation and contentious issues that arose throughout the case, which was global in nature and very complex; in particular, the team, aided by local counsel in seven overseas jurisdictions, designed and put in place a coordinated cross-border strategy to protect the interests of the creditors in the event that the Icelandic government took hostile action targeting the assets of the failed bank estates; this strategy included devising novel legal arguments under EU/EEA law, Icelandic law and the laws of various other jurisdictions; ll of the issues were resolved following an agreement that the team negotiated with the Icelandic government in June 2015; this was an outstanding result and the case received recognition at The Lawyer Awards 2016, The American Lawyer’s Global Legal Awards 2016 and The International Financial Law Review’s European Awards, 2016
- acting for the Republic of Poland in defending a US$16 billion arbitration claim brought against it by a Dutch insurance company under the Netherlands-Poland BIT; after Akin Gump became involved, the case settled for a fraction of the amount originally claimed
- representing the government of Guatemala in arbitration proceedings initiated by the United States under the labor chapter of the Central America-Dominican Republic-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR); it is the first ever arbitration proceeding involving the labor provisions of an FTA and only the second arbitration proceeding to have taken place under the CAFTA-DR
- representing a Swiss-owned company in ad hoc arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Latvia under the Swiss Latvia BIT, arising out of the takeover of a Latvian bank by the Latvian financial authorities
- acting for a major Russian energy company in relation to treaty claims against Hungary concerning the expropriation of shares in the largest oil and gas company in Hungary; he case was resolved by a highly favorable settlement for our client
- representing a water services company, Azurix Corp., in an investment arbitration and award enforcement against the government of Argentina; the company had sought, for more than three years, to collect a US$165 million international investor-state arbitration award that Argentina refused to pay, in violation of the U.S. – Argentina BIT; a cross-practice Akin Gump team assisted the company by developing ground-breaking international trade policy initiatives, as well as incorporating lobbying and administrative procedure strategies; this is the first time that a company has been able to successfully enforce an investor-state arbitration award through “diplomatic protection”
- representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in a dispute with Biedermann International in the Stockholm International Arbitration Court over a US$600 million claim that our client satisfied with a payment of less than 3 percent of the claim
- Acting for a U.K. investment house in an UNCITRAL arbitration against a Latin American state entity concerning allegations of expropriation, breach of international law and breach of contract. The tribunal awarded the investor US$50 million in damages.
- Acting for a U.S. investor in arbitration proceedings against Belize in relation to the expropriation of an oil exploration license.
- Acting for Bridas, an Argentine corporation, where Akin Gump succeeded in reversing a U.S. district court decision and obtaining an appellate ruling that a foreign government was bound by a $553 million international arbitration award (approximately $1 billion with interest) on the grounds that the government was the alter ego of the entity that had been held liable.
- Acting for the government of the Republic of Liberia in an arbitration matter worth approximately US$ 50 million, arising out of a cancelled BOT contract to manage the country’s national port facilities.
- Representing a global investment firm in relation to an existing BIT claim (under the U.K. – India BIT) brought in relation to the acts and omissions of a majority state-owned mining company.
- Acting for a lender in a multimillion dollar syndicated loan on potential claims (under the Netherlands – Vietnam BIT) for the failure to put in place a state guarantee.